Obama Administration Delays Keystone XL Decision

On Nov. 10, the Obama administration announced a decision to study alternative routes for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a move that delays the approval process until after the 2012 election. 

Due to "a number of concerns have been raised through a public process," President Obama said he felt the decision, which was originally scheduled to be delivered this month, requires more time and research.  

"We should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood," said Obama in a statement

Proponents of the pipeline accuse the decision as being strictly political. House Speaker John Boehner was quick to reply to the decision, charging the administration with putting politics before jobs. 

"More than 20,000 new American jobs have just been sacrificed in the name of political expediency," said Boehner, according to USA Today. "By punting on this project, the president has made clear that campaign politics are driving U.S. policy decisions -- at the expense of American jobs."

Meanwhile, environmentalists are praising the decision. Among the variety of activists that conducted highly visible protests in front of the White House over the past week was Jane Kleeb, activist and founder of Bold Nebraska, who told the Los Angeles Times she takes Obama's announcement as a vote of confidence. 

"The bottom line is, when President Obama stands up to big oil, we stand with him," she said.

However, any celebration may be premature. The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin told PBS News Hour the delay may result in a decision made by an entirely new administration:

"And one of the critiques that some environmentalists have made is, you know, we're celebrating this, but actually this ultimate decision could be made by a president who might not share our environmental values...And then the real question is, will Obama make the final decision about this controversial project, or will it be a Republican who would be in office instead?"